There are many opportunities here on MVNU’s campus that encourage students to get involved in the community. Among those opportunities is Knox Needs, an organization that provides resources for those who are in need and may deal with food insecurities.
Knox Needs partners with Food For the Hungry to provide for those in need. Food For the Hungry specializes in serving those who deal with poverty by providing meals and emergency utilities vouchers for immediate-need families.
Here in Knox County, there are many ways to volunteer. Director of Community and International Ministries Catie Hayes believes one way to get involved is to learn about what it means to be affected by poverty.
“We help to educate on campus about food insecurities and what it really looks like,” said Hayes. “We try to break down some of those myths that people don’t work hard enough, people are lazy, drug addicts or whatever is attached to food insecurities.”
Hayes works to make sure that students are educated through many events, some which take place during November. Rather, students volunteer or attend for the experience; there are many ways to serve during this month.
Some of the events that have taken place on campus are Documentary Night, a documentary about poverty and the importance of Knox Needs in the community; Knox Needs Market Place, which includes hand-made goods from faculty and staff, with all proceeds going towards Knox Needs; plus Homecoming 5k Gold Rush, Quarter Auction and Friday Night Live.
There are also opportunities off campus, outside of November, such as the Food For the Hungry fundraiser. During every week, there are hot meals that students can volunteer for at churches around the Mount Vernon area as well.
Hayes acknowledge that with campus being the space where students are primarily focused on classes and social life, it’s easy to forget about what others are going through outside of the college life. Hayes believes these events will help students understand what food insecurity looks like outside of campus. With continuous student involvement, Hayes recognizes that they have helped accomplish the mission of Knox Needs.
Believing it’s not just about donating, “It is not just something you can throw money at; on campus, we can talk about it, but we have to actually do something,” said Hayes.
Hayes hopes that students will continue to value the exposure that Knox Needs has provided. Even more importantly, her goal is for students to get to know the people they serve and support.
“In my eyes, the most important thing would be to go into the community; giving money is really great -- equally as important or more important is stepping out and meeting the people that we’re giving that money to,” said Hayes.
If you would like to give a generous donation to Knox Needs visit: https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=8006c6